Snoring is a sleep disruption in which the amount of air taken in is restricted and limited. Because of this, breathing becomes rough, airways begin to vibrate, and the sound of snoring takes place. The reduced amount of oxygen taken in by people who snore can cause a myriad of health problems—more than simply keeping a partner awake with their loud noises.
Snoring can contribute to many problems including sleep deprivation, memory loss, obesity, mood changes and irritability. Even more severe issues such as sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke may also be related to snoring. There is no direct cure that a doctor can give you to make you stop snoring. But when the underlying issues of snoring are discovered and practice, relief from snoring can often be found.
How Yoga Helps with Snoring
Trying out natural remedies for snoring can include a variety of homeopathic care as well as exercises to minimize the impact of snoring on your life. Many people find relief from snoring by engaging in certain yoga poses that can help with breathing, respiratory function, and circulation.
Yoga is a physical exercise discipline that focuses on several aspects of health, two of which are stretching and breathing that help with snoring. Although yoga has also been deeply connected with religious practices (especially eastern religions), the physical functions can be used independently of any faith and simply for the health benefits. Of course, learning to practice yoga poses and breathing exercises under the supervision of a trained teacher may be a wise way to start to avoid injury or harm.
A good yoga mat is recommended. Check out this one on Amazon that has printed illustrations for 70 different yoga poses!
Yoga Poses for Snoring
Try these different yoga poses individually or combined to see if they can work to minimize your problems with snoring:
This position requires the person to lie on their stomach and push up with their arms fully extended from the floor. The Cobra pose opens up the chest area to stimulate respiratory health while offering opportunities to clear up the lungs and heart for better circulation.
- Lie on the stomach and keep the legs together on the floor.
- Extend the arms above the body for a long stretch.
- Take a deep breath.
- Place palms below the chest and lift the trunk and head while exhaling.
- Arch the back and neck and raise the head similar to a cobra.
- Hold for 10-15 seconds while breathing normally.
- Return to lying down position to rest.
- Repeat several times.
Similar to cobra post but more extreme, the Bow pose opens up chest, regulates breathing, and promotes healthy circulation. By allowing for deeper access to lungs for inhaling and exhaling, this pose promotes breathing and may reduce snoring.
- Begin by lying flat on the stomach with the chin on the floor and arms at your side
- While exhaling, bend the knees and reach back with your hands to hold on to the ankles.
- While inhaling, lift the heels toward the sky and pull the thighs up and away from the floor.
- Lift the chest while drawing the tailbone into the floor. Press the shoulder blades into the back, away from the ears.
- Breathe gently and hold for approximately 30 seconds.
- While exhaling, gently lower the thighs to the floor and release the lower legs. Relax arms at the sides and breathe gently while laying the head to one side.
- Repeat, this time resting at the end with the head on the opposite side for balance.
Roaring Lion Pose
A bit higher in difficulty, this yoga pose for snoring exercises the tongue through extension (loose tongue muscles may be a cause of snoring). It also relaxes the muscles in the neck to promote open airways and easier breathing while stimulating the front throat muscles. You may feel silly but it could work to stop your snoring!
- Kneel on the floor and cross the ankles behind you, right on top of left with feet pointing out.
- Place palms firmly on knees and spread the fingers.
- Inhale through nose, open the mouth. Stretch the tip of your tongue toward the chin. Exhale through the mouth while making a roaring “ha” noise.
- Roar several times.
- Change the way the legs are crossed and repeat.
This yoga exercise helps with snoring as the vibration made by the sounds can help to clear the sinuses that may be blocking sleep breathing. It also helps to minimize tension and reduce blood pressure to result in healthier sleeping.
- Sit down comfortably with back straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Take a few breaths and close the eyes.
- Keeping the lips closed, take a breath through the nose.
- When exhaling, make an “M” (buzzing) sound and continue while the breath is being released.
- You may plug your ears during this exercise by pressing on the area between the ear and cheek.
- Repeat throughout the day to clear sinuses and reduce stress.
Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique
This breathing practice is quite simple and yet extremely effective in a variety of ways. While most of us breathe automatically without really thinking about it, taking just a few minutes a day to concentrate on our breathing can do more than just increase our oxygen intake and possibly reduce snoring. It may also have the ability to increase our focus, quiet racing thoughts, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a feeling of energy in the body and mind. As the oxygen intake is improved through this exercise, blood pressure is lowered and balance is restored.
- To practice alternate nostril breathing, have a seat and sit with your spine straight and shoulders back.
- Put your left hand on your lap and place your right pointer finger and middle finger to the face to rest in the middle of your brow.
- Place the thumb and ring finger near the outsides of your nose.
- Take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Then close your right nostril with the thumb and inhale slowly.
- Close the left nostril with the ring finger. Hold your breath briefly.
- Now open the right nostril and exhale slowly. Pause.
- Now inhale slowly through the right side. Hold both closed and pause.
- Change nostrils and release the breath slowly through the left side.
Repeat this exercise between five and ten times to help with oxygen intake, breathing, and good sleep.
Snoring is a medical condition that should be treated as such and a doctor or other medical professional should be consulted to rule out serious underlying conditions that may be related to snoring. Of course, living a generally healthy lifestyle overall, with a healthy diet and exercise, combined with yoga will add to your ability to kick that snoring problem and get back to sleeping well again!